Summer is a great time of year in many places, but Portland summers are extra special. Here’s a list of ten things I love about Portland summers, in no particular order.
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Whether you go to splash pads, pools, lakes, or rivers, Portland has plenty of places to cool off with water. Some places, like Jamison Square, are more well-known, but your corner of Portland probably has a quieter place for you and the kids to do some frolicking in the water.
From concerts to movies in the park, you can get your fix of outdoor entertainment all summer long in Portland, and you can bring the kids along most places (some spaces are still determining specifics for this summer). Let the kids dance and play while you sit back and listen to some tunes or watch a movie under the stars.
Dining Al Fresco
With the break in the rain, Portland patio dining is more inviting, and the parks are populated with picnickers packing their own cuisine or takeout from their favorite restaurants and food carts.
Our proximity to the Fruit Loop and other you-pick attractions makes it easy to find berries, cherries, apples, and more. From Sauvie Island’s sprawling strawberry patches to smaller farms scattered across the metro area, we have so many places to grab some fresh, juicy berries.
The fertile soil in the Willamette Valley and surrounding areas gives us a rainbow of produce to choose from year round, but that bounty is especially obvious during the Portland summers. I love grabbing a coffee, browsing the rows of the farmers markets around town, and munching on gourmet food like crepes, tamales, and scones from local chefs.
Thanks to urban growth boundaries, you don’t have to go far to feel like you’re camping in the middle of nowhere here in PDX. We recently camped in a yurt at Lost Lake Resort (less than two hours from home) and at a campsite in Oxbow Regional Park (45 minutes away).
I love that Portland has ice cream and frozen yogurt as well as Hawaiian Shaved Ice. No matter what your favorite type of cool treat, you can probably find it in Portland. I’ve even had a lavender-ginger ice cream sandwich and a wine-sicle (which is just as great as it sounds).
From moss-covered bridges straight out of a storybook to pirate ships worthy of the high seas, Portland playgrounds are anything but boring. There are new parks and park improvements coming every year: K’hunamowskst Park in Northeast opened in 2015, and Southwest’s Spring Garden Park opened in mid-June 2018.
This summer has started off pretty mild, and I’ll be glad if it stays that way. The blue skies, mild temperatures, and fresh air that this summer has given us make Portland the perfect place for summer adventures.
After rainy winter days with six hours of daylight (okay, that might be an exaggeration), Portland’s long days are particularly lovely. I don’t always love waking up with the sun at 5:30 in the morning, but it sure is nice to let the girls play in the yard well past 8 or 9 at night.
There are plenty more things to love about Portland in the summer, like cultural events, expos, and carnivals, but hopefully my short list will help you remember what you love about our city in this season of sun, sand, and school breaks!